From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Ahead the 2019 general election, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said there will be no special privilege for returnees or new entrants into the party.
Makarfi, however, reiterated his earlier pledge to create a level playing field for all members of the party.
He stated this in Abuja yesterday, when he received members of the PDP Rescue Group at the party’s national secretariat.
This was coming amidst speculations that former members of the PDP may be returning to the party to contest the 2019 general elections.
Makarfi said, while the PDP leadership is open to reconciling with estranged members of the party and accepting new entrants, it will guard against exclusivity in its affairs. He said the opposition party must learn from the mistakes of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Makarfi said: “We are open to reconciling with everybody and we are open to accepting new entrants into the party, but there is no special privileges for anybody coming into the party. That is not an issue to be contemplated.
“No exclusivity, it will be inclusive without any special privilege to anybody or group of individuals. We should learn from how APC got it wrong.
“People can as well be nomadic politicians and migrate to where the pasture is more green for whatever reasons. In some African countries, we don’t hear of this kind of mobility. But in Nigeria, we are nomadic politicians. We have many nomadic politicians and they should behave well. They will be welcomed, but I stand by what I have said earlier.”
Besides, Makarfi said the PDP will evolve a mechanism to reward dedicated and loyal party members. He said that is the only way to get the members to remain committed to the PDP, otherwise, “they would begin to question their continued loyalty and commitment to the party.”
Speaking earlier, leader of the group, Ambassador Wiberforce Juta, stressed the need for the party to maximise the recent victory at the Supreme Court, so that it can turn out a political victory.
He said: “We also recommend that other than reconciling extant members of the party aggrieved on one issue or the other, the terms of reference of the National Reconciliation Committee should include returning critical members of the party who have defected to other political parties.”
Meanwhile, the PDP Ex-Ministers Forum yesterday said it will support credible members of the party to emerge as substantive National Working Committe (NWC) members of the party.
In a communique read to journalists at the end of its meeting, in Abuja, by its chairman, Tanimu Turaki, the ex-ministers also pledged their support to the caretaker committee, especially in its quest to create a level playing field for all party members.
“We have also resolved that we are going to support credible Nigerians, not necessarily ministers only, to get elected into our working committee because, at this critical time, what we need are vibrant and dynamic Nigerians who will give that needed impetus for our party to quickly rise to the challenge and then provide that alternative government that would take over from the APC in 2019,” he stated.